Only a few short weeks after dominating the 2023 European Weightlifting Championships (EWC), Karlos Nasar has reportedly suffered a debilitating injury that may hamper his future in weightlifting. According to social media and local reporting from Bulgaria, the 18-year-old prodigy tore his Achilles tendon during a recent hotel stay in the country’s capital of Sofia.
Reporting from Bulgarian outlet Dunav Most says that Nasar was the victim of a “domestic accident” in which a broken sink detached, fully severing his Achilles tendon:
“The back of my leg is all cut off … They’re taking care of me. The federation is very concerned. We hope for the best results in the recovery,” Nasar reportedly told Bulgarian news station bTV.
Editor’s Note: The language reported in this article has been translated from Bulgarian and may not directly convey the original wording.
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Information regarding Nasar’s expected recovery timeline varies. An Instagram story by All Things Gym contained an unverified quote stating that eight months is an optimistic outcome. By contrast, Dunav Most has stated that the European Champion will “start moving” in at least four months’ time with some light running training.
Shuffling the Board
Nasar’s tragic accident constitutes a significant shift in the balance of power in what is commonly regarded as weightlifting’s most competitive Men’s division. At the 2023 EWC, Nasar, an 89-kilogram athlete, set five new World Records during his performance, several of which came off the back of his 221-kilogram result (487.2 pounds) in the clean & jerk.
As of the date of this article’s publication, Nasar is the top-ranked 89-kilogram weightlifter in the world, according to the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) official leaderboard. This leaderboard will largely determine which athletes are selected for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
Nasar’s 395-kilogram World Record Total from Europeans gave him a hearty lead over his fellow competitors. However, with a reported four-to-eight-month-plus absence from both weightlifting training and competition, Nasar’s rivals have a wide opportunity to overtake him. Athletes like Keydomar Vallenilla-Sanchez (VEN), Marin Robu (MDA), Antonino Pizzolato (ITA), Tian Tao (CHN), Li Dayin (CHN), Brayan Rodallegas (COL), and more are all within striking distance of Nasar’s crown.
Nasar’s expected recovery timeline places him out of contention for the following international competitions in 2023, many of which are IWF-recognized (but non-compulsory) qualification events for the Paris Games:
- IWF Grand Prix I: June 8-18
- European Junior Championships: July 24-August 3
- IWF Junior World Championships: TBD November
- IWF World Championships: September 2-17
- IWF Grand Prix II: December 2-12
It’s possible that Nasar’s prior performances were strong enough to have already secured him a ride to the 2024 Olympics, but a serious injury is the last thing any athlete wishes for — especially with only a year and some change before the Games kick off.
“Every single movement is painful … it’s hard to even brush my teeth,” Nasar says of the nature of his injury. All available information indicates that he is expected to make a full recovery.
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Featured Image: @karlos_nasar_ on Instagram